There is a troubling phenomenon occurring in the marketplace right now, specifically related to companies and their attitudes toward the recruiting and hiring process.  That phenomenon can be explained as follows:

  1. Companies (naturally) only want to hire the best and brightest candidates.
  2. In their quest for the best and brightest, many companies prefer to hire those who are already employed.
  3. Companies are being bombarded with resumes and applications from candidates who are unemployed, since there are so many of them currently in the marketplace.
  4. This bombardment, which has been happening for quite some time now, is affecting the perspective of company officials, leading them to believe that they are firmly in the “driver’s seat” (as opposed to candidates) in terms of hiring process.
  5. Consequently, company officials and hiring managers are treating every candidate the same . . . regardless of their current situation or the actual reason they’re interested in the position.

What does all of this add up to?  A lot of companies are letting a lot of superstars and grade-A candidates get away because their officials aren’t able to recognize that every candidate is different, and as a result, using a blanket approach predicated upon the belief that their company is in the “driver’s seat” will only drive top talent away.

What is happening

So what exactly is going on?  In short, companies are not showing the appropriate courtesy and respect to candidates, and not just any candidates—the ones they want to hire above all others.  Below is just a sampling of some of the ways companies are accomplishing this:

  • Putting candidates through four, five, six, or even more interviews
  • Making candidates show up for interviews on a number of different days, no matter how far away they are or how inconvenienced they’ll be
  • Making candidates endure marathon interviews with numerous company officials that are hours long and sometimes consume the entire day
  • Asking candidates to come in for an interview on the same day that they call them

What should happen

So . . . how should companies handle the process when they want to hire the best and brightest candidates available?  They should handle it in a swift, concise, and decisive manner, and not just because that approach leaves the candidate with a favorable impression.  They also do it because these candidates are entertaining multiple offers and the more you dawdle, the greater the chance that they’ll lose them to the competition.  Below is a list of suggestions:

  • Conduct one phone interview.
  • Conduct two face-to-face interviews at most.  (Remember, these candidates probably have multiple companies interested in them.  Time is of the essence.)
  • If there is a second interview, include a tour of your company or facility during that interview.  Remember, you have to sell yourself to them just as much as they’re selling themselves to you.
  • Have a member of your team meet with the candidate in an informal setting, perhaps for coffee, somewhere in their neck of the woods.  This will help to differentiate your company from the other suitors.

The prevailing “driver’s seat” mentality is costing companies talent and ultimately, costing them money in the form of higher profits and revenues.  Why?  Because the candidates they’re driving away are working for somebody else.

We’ve touched on this point before in a previous newsletter, but if companies want the best to work for them, those companies have to treat the best like they’re the best.  Companies need to make a mental hiring shift.  The sooner they do so, the sooner they can stop losing the talent they need—and the market share that goes along with it.

If you have any questions about this article or about how we can help refine and enhance your recruiting and hiring process, please contact us.